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    Subdivision 1. Initiating the proceedings. This section provides the exclusive method of
incorporating a municipality in Minnesota. Proceedings for incorporation of a municipality may
be initiated by petition of 100 or more property owners or by resolution of the town board within
an area which is not included within the limits of any incorporated municipality and which area
includes land that has been platted into lots and blocks in the manner provided by law. The
petition or resolution shall be submitted to the director and shall state the proposed name of the
municipality, the names of all parties entitled to mailed notice under section 414.09, the reason for
requesting incorporation, and shall include a proposed corporate boundary map.
    Subd. 1a. Notice of intent to incorporate. At least 30 days before submitting to the
director the petition or resolution under this section, the township must serve the clerk of each
municipality and each township that is contiguous to the township by certified mail a notice of
the township's intent to incorporate.
    Subd. 2. Hearing time, place. Upon receipt of a petition or resolution made pursuant to
subdivision 1, the director shall designate a time and place for a hearing in accordance with
section 414.09.
    Subd. 3. Relevant factors, order. (a) In arriving at a decision, the director shall consider
the following factors:
(1) present population and number of households, past population and projected population
growth for the subject area;
(2) quantity of land within the subject area; the natural terrain including recognizable
physical features, general topography, major watersheds, soil conditions and such natural features
as rivers, lakes and major bluffs;
(3) present pattern of physical development, planning, and intended land uses in the subject
area including residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural, and institutional land uses and the
impact of the proposed action on those uses;
(4) the present transportation network and potential transportation issues, including proposed
highway development;
(5) land use controls and planning presently being utilized in the subject area, including
comprehensive plans, policies of the Metropolitan Council; and whether there are inconsistencies
between proposed development and existing land use controls;
(6) existing levels of governmental services being provided to the subject area, including
water and sewer service, fire rating and protection, law enforcement, street improvements and
maintenance, administrative services, and recreational facilities and the impact of the proposed
action on the delivery of the services;
(7) existing or potential environmental problems and whether the proposed action is likely to
improve or resolve these problems;
(8) fiscal impact on the subject area and adjacent units of local government, including present
bonded indebtedness; local tax rates of the county, school district, and other governmental units,
including, where applicable, the net tax capacity of platted and unplatted lands and the division of
homestead and nonhomestead property; and other tax and governmental aid issues;
(9) relationship and effect of the proposed action on affected and adjacent school districts
and communities;
(10) whether delivery of services to the subject area can be adequately and economically
delivered by the existing government;
(11) analysis of whether necessary governmental services can best be provided through the
proposed action or another type of boundary adjustment;
(12) degree of contiguity of the boundaries of the subject area and adjacent units of local
government; and
(13) analysis of the applicability of the State Building Code.
(b) Based upon these factors, the director may order the incorporation on finding that:
(1) the property to be incorporated is now, or is about to become, urban or suburban in
character; or
(2) that the existing township form of government is not adequate to protect the public
health, safety, and welfare; or
(3) the proposed incorporation would be in the best interests of the area under consideration.
(c) The director may deny the incorporation if the area, or a part thereof, would be better
served by annexation to an adjacent municipality.
(d) The director may alter the boundaries of the proposed incorporation by increasing or
decreasing the area to be incorporated so as to include only that property which is now, or is
about to become, urban or suburban in character, or may exclude property that may be better
served by another unit of government. The director may also alter the boundaries of the proposed
incorporation so as to follow visible, clearly recognizable physical features for municipal
(e) In all cases, the director shall set forth the factors which are the basis for the decision.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary relating to the number of
wards which may be established, the director may provide for election of council members by
wards, not less than three nor more than seven in number, whose limits are prescribed in the
director's order upon a finding that area representation is required to accord proper representation
in the proposed incorporated area because of uneven population density in different parts thereof
or the existence of agricultural lands therein which are in the path of suburban development, but
after four years from the effective date of an incorporation the council of the municipality may by
resolution adopted by a four-fifths vote abolish the ward system and provide for the election of all
council members at large as in other municipalities.
(g) The director's order for incorporation shall provide for the election of municipal officers
in accordance with section 414.09. The plan of government shall be "Optional Plan A", provided
that an alternate plan may be adopted pursuant to section 412.551, at any time.
(h) The ordinances of the township in which the new municipality is located shall continue in
effect until repealed by the governing body of the new municipality.
    Subd. 4. Effective date of incorporation. The incorporation shall be effective upon the
election and qualification of new municipal officers or on such later date as is fixed by the
director's order.
History: 1959 c 686 s 2; 1961 c 645 s 2; 1963 c 807 s 6,7; 1965 c 899 s 6-11; 1969 c 1146 s
8; 1973 c 123 art 4 s 5; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1978 c 705 s 12; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 719 art 5 s 84; 1989
c 329 art 13 s 20; 1Sp1989 c 1 art 2 s 11; 1996 c 303 s 8; 2002 c 223 s 5; 2006 c 270 art 2 s 3

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes